Deerfoot in The Mountains

Deerfoot in The Mountains

Edward Sylvester Ellis
Edward Sylvester Ellis

Author: Ellis, Edward Sylvester, 1840-1916
Shawnee Indians — Juvenile fiction
Siksika Indians — Juvenile fiction
Overland journeys to the Pacific — Juvenile fiction
Deerfoot in The Mountains

A Friend in Need.


Deerfoot in the Mountains



Author of “Deerfoot in the Forest,” “Deerfoot on the Prairies,”
“An American King,” “The Cromwell of Virginia,”
“The Boy Pioneer Series,” “Log Cabin Series,”
Etc., Etc.


with Eight Engravings by J. Steeple Davis


Illustrated by

No. 1.—Deerfoot in the Forest
No. 2.—Deerfoot on the Prairies
No. 3.—Deerfoot in the Mountains

Each contains seven half-tone engravings and color frontispiece. They make more real the fortunes and adventures of the heroic little band that journeys through the wilderness and prairies from the Ohio to the Pacific. It was in the time of daring when Lewis and Clark were engaged in their thrilling expedition that the adventures narrated by the distinguished author of boys’ books are described as occurring. Our old friends, George and Victor, of the “Log Cabin Series,” are again met with in these pages, and the opportunity of once more coming face to face with Deerfoot will be welcomed by every juvenile reader.
The New Deerfoot Series is bound in uniform style in cloth, with side and back stamped in colors.

Price, single volume $1.00
Price, per set of three volumes, in attractive box 3.00

Copyright by
The John C. Winston Co.,


Chap. I. Eastward Bound 9
Chap. II. Lost, Strayed or Stolen 23
Chap. III. The Trail Northward 37
Chap. IV. The Land of the Assiniboines 51
Chap. V. A Welcome Sight 65
Chap. VI. Comrades True 79
Chap. VII. A Mishap 93
Chap. VIII. Enemies and Friends 106
Chap. IX. In the Rockies 121
Chap. X. In the Blackfoot Country 135
Chap. XI. In Winter Quarters 149
Chap. XII. Blackfoot Citizens 161
Chap. XIII. Summoned to Court 173
Chap. XIV. A New Blackfoot Citizen 185
Chap. XV. The Spirit Circle 197
Chap. XVI. The Field of Honor 211
Chap. XVII. A Memorable Duel 221
Chap. XVIII. Discipline in the Ranks 234
Chap. XIX. “Behold He Prayeth” 245
Chap. XX. Light in Darkness 258
Chap. XXI. Homeward Bound 267
Chap. XXII. A Memorable Meeting 280
Chap. XXIII. Lewis and Clark’s Expeditions 292
Chap. XXIV. Overboard 304
Chap. XXV. Jack Halloway Again 315
Chap. XXVI. A Temperance Agitator 329
Chap. XXVII. “Good-Bye” 343
Chap. XXVIII. Retrospect 350


Frontispiece: (Color Plate) A Friend in Need
“This Horse Was Whirlwind” 72
“Now, Whirlwind, Run Him Down” 112
Deerfoot Lost in Reverie By the Camp Fire 136
An Ominous Interview 177
A Memorable Duel 224
A Visit From Captains Lewis and Clark 289
“It Was Deerfoot, The Shawanoe” 301

Deerfoot the Shawanoe, Mul-tal-la the Blackfoot, and the twin brothers, George and Victor Shelton, had completed their long journey from the Ohio River to the Pacific slope, and, standing on an elevation near the Columbia, spent hours in looking out upon the face of the mightiest ocean of the globe. They feasted their vision on the magnificent scene, with the miles of wilderness, mountain, vale, river and Indian villages spread between their feet and the ocean.
It was a picture worth journeying across the continent to see. From beyond the convex world a ship had sailed up to view, its snowy sails looking at first like a tiny but growing cloud in the soft sky. As the craft drew steadily nearer, they saw it careening to one side under the impulse of the wind against the bellying canvas, while the curling foam at the bows spread out like a fan and dissolved in the clear waters beyond the stern.
Deerfoot had taken the glass after Mul-tal-la was through, and he stood for a long time gazing at the waste of waters. None spoke, for there was that in the scene and the occasion which made all thoughtful. The grandeur, the majesty, the vastness filled them with awe and held them mute. Finally, the Shawanoe lowered the instrument, and turning toward the boys, said gravely, as he pointed first to the east and then to the west:
“Yonder is the endless forest of wood, and yonder the endless forest of water; they shall all become the home of the white man.”
“I don’t doubt you are right,” replied George Shelton, “but it will be hundreds of years after you and I are dead; there is room between here and the Ohio for millions upon millions, but where will they come from?”
“The white men will become like the leaves in the forest and the sands on the seashore; no one can count the numbers that will overspread the land; they will be everywhere.”
“And what of your own people, Deerfoot?” asked Victor.
The dusky youth shook his head, as if the problem was beyond him.
“The two ought to live in peace side by side, for such is the will of the Great Spirit. The white man cannot become like the red man, but the red man may grow into the ways of the pale-faces, and all may be brothers, and so live till time shall be no more.”
The theme was too profound for the youths, though it was manifest that the Shawanoe had given much thought to it. He added nothing, and while the day was young they walked back to the Columbia, re-entered the canoe and headed up stream.
Henceforward their work was different from that which they faced when descending the river. There were long stretches where, despite the current, the dusky boatmen found no special trouble in driving the craft eastward; but, as they progressed, the labor became severer, for the stream narrowed and the velocity of its flow became greater. The portages were long and toilsome, and, as the party advanced, many places were met where these portages became necessary on account of the rapidity of the current alone. All, however, bent resolutely to work, Victor and George taxing their strength to the utmost. Deerfoot seemed tireless, but he could never be inconsiderate to others. He could have outworn Mul-tal-la, though not till after the exhaustion of the boys, who agreed between themselves that the job was the biggest they had ever tackled; and yet their adult companions not only did the work the twins were doing, but swung the paddles in addition.
Our friends stayed one night at the Echeloot or Upper Chinook village, which they had visited when coming down the river. You will remember that it was there they first saw wooden houses made by Indians. The explorers were treated as hospitably as before, but, as you will also recall, the natives were Flatheads, and the sight of the misshapen skulls, towering at the rear like the ridge of a roof, was so disagreeable that the travelers were glad to turn their backs upon them.
You have not forgotten the thrilling descent of the Falls of the Columbia, where all the skill of Deerfoot and Mul-tal-la was needed to save the canoe from being dashed upon the rocks.
“Are you going to paddle through them again?” asked Victor.
“Deerfoot does not wish to see his brother scared so bad as he was before.”
“I was about to say that if you and Mul-tal-la don’t feel equal to the task, George and I are ready to take it off your hands.”
“The heart of Deerfoot is made glad to hear the words of his brother,” replied the Shawanoe, handing his paddle to the youth. Not expecting that, Victor scratched his head and looked quizzically at George.
“Shall we show those fellows how to do such things?”
“I don’t think it is worth while; they won’t appreciate it.”
“Deerfoot is sorry,” was all that was said by the Shawanoe, as the boat was drawn out of the waters and hoisted upon the shoulders of the party.
The Shawanoe gave another illustration of his stern principles when, at the close of day, the canoe was run into shore at the point where the travelers had encamped beside the pile of lumber from which they were led to take what fuel they needed through the misrepresentation of the three Indians who called upon them. The night was one of the coldest of several weeks, and at their elbows, as may be said, was enough fuel to make them comfortable for months.
The brothers looked longingly at the mass of lumber, but did not dare touch it in the presence of their friend.
“I wonder if we can’t persuade him to look the other way for a little while,” said Victor in a low tone to George.
“It wouldn’t make any difference if he did—he would see us just the same; the only thing to do is to appeal to his common sense.”
“You try it; he won’t pay any attention to me.”
“See here,” said the shivering lad; “it seems to me, Deerfoot, that since we have already stolen some lumber from that pile, it can’t be any harm to steal a little more; you see, with your good sense, that it will be only taking two bites from the same apple.”
The Shawanoe looked gravely at his young friends, whom no one understood better than he, and abruptly asked:
“How much do two and two make?”
“As near as I can figure out,” interposed Victor, “the answer to that problem is four.”
“When we used the wood we thought we had the right to take it; we should pay the owner if we could find him. If we use any of it now it will be a sin, as sure as two and two make four, for we know it belongs to another; it is better to freeze than to steal wood. Deerfoot does not wish to hear his brothers say anything more.”
“I suppose he is right,” growled Victor, “but doesn’t he draw it mighty fine? We may as well prepare to spend one of the worst nights we have had since leaving the Ohio.”
The canoe was drawn up the bank and then turned over, so as to shield the property beneath. Then the blankets were spread so that the four lay near one another and thus secured mutual warmth. The region had become familiar to our friends because of their former visit, and they knew that all the natives were friendly. Deerfoot, therefore, said there was no need of mounting guard. They had eaten enough dried salmon to stay the pangs of hunger, though the boys would have relished something warm and more palatable.
All slept soundly, and the night passed without the slightest disturbance from prowling man or animal. Victor Shelton was the first to awake. He was lying on his side with his back against that of his brother, and his face so covered by his blanket that only a small orifice was left through which to breathe. His first sensation was that of pressure, as if a heavy weight was distributed over the blanket and was bearing him down. He moved his arm and found that the blanket, from some cause, was really heavier than usual. A vigorous flirt freed his shoulder from the wrapping, and he then saw the cause of the peculiar feeling he had noticed: the earth was covered with several inches of snow. Anyone coming upon the camp in the gray light of morning would have noted nothing but the mass of lumber, the flowing river, the overturned canoe and several white mounds. The snowfall had ceased, and fortunately there had been a considerable rise of temperature. The snow was soft and wet, and one could move about without extra protection, and not suffer from cold.
Victor lay still for a minute or two, engaged in thinking. Then he gently pushed the blanket off his shoulder and body, so as to leave his limbs free. With the same stealth he rose to his feet and looked around. There lay his three friends, encased even to their heads and feet in the warm protection.
“I think there couldn’t be a better time for me to settle my accounts with you fellows,” muttered the lad, looking down on the mounds.
“Master George Shelton, you have a bad habit of making slurring remarks about my walking pretty fast from the wounded antelope, forgetting that by doing so I drew him on to his own destruction. You need a lesson and I’m going to give it to you.
“Mr. Mul-tal-la, you didn’t say much at the time I was explaining that little matter to George, but I saw the grin on your face, and I knew you were thinking a good deal more than you had any right to think. You need to be taught better manners.
“As for you, Mr. Deerfoot, you are the worst of all. I can’t forget the scandalous tricks you have played on me. It will take a long time to even matters between us, but I’m going to make a good start to-day.”
Knowing how lightly the Shawanoe slept, Victor picked his way with great skill until he had taken a dozen or more steps. The down-like carpet enabled him to do this absolutely without noise, a fact which explains why Deerfoot did not awake.
Victor now stooped and began silently manufacturing snowballs. He packed the soft substance as hard as he could while circling it about in his palms and rounding it into shape. When the missile suggested a 12-pound shot he laid it at his feet, with the whispered words:
“That’s for you, Master George Shelton.”
The second sphere was compressed and modeled with the same pains and placed beside the first.
“That’s for you, Mr. Mul-tal-la, and you’re going to get it good! As for you, Mr. Deerfoot, you shall have a double dose.”
Crooking his left arm at the elbow, Victor laid three of the nicely molded snowballs in the hollow, which served as a quiver serves for arrows. The fourth missile was grasped in his right hand, and he drew it slowly back and sighted carefully at his brother. Victor was a fine thrower, and when the ball flashed from his hand it landed on the top of George’s cap and burst into fragments. The sleeper was in the midst of a dream in which Zigzag played a leading part, and the youth’s first impression was that he had received the full force of a kick on his crown.
Paying no further attention to him, Victor quickly let fly at Mul-tal-la, and the throw was as good as the first.
The disturbance, slight as it was, roused Deerfoot, who flung the blanket off his face and raised his head. He was just in time to receive the compact sphere between the eyes, and before he could dodge the second it landed on his ear, packed the passage full of snow and plastered the side of his face with the snowy particles.
“I meant those for you and here’s another!” shouted Victor, who, having exhausted his ammunition, snatched up a handful of snow and began hastily molding a new missile.
“You needn’t scramble and claw about! I’ve got you down and I’m going to pay you for beating me at wrestling, for tickling my nose, for stealing my clothes when I was swimming, and”——
The reason why the lad ceased his remarks so abruptly was because a snowball, fired as if from a cannon, crashed into his mouth that instant and half strangled him. Before he could pull himself together he knew his nose was flattened by another missile and Deerfoot was on the point of launching a third shot. This was more than Victor had bargained for, and, wheeling, he “ran for life,” yelling at the top of his voice for George and Mul-tal-la to come to his help.
“Soak him, George! Give it to him, Mul-tal-la; don’t you see he’s killing me?”
Now, there was no reason why the two thus appealed to should heed the prayer, since each had suffered at the hands of the youth who was in extremity. Nevertheless, Mul-tal-la and George attacked Deerfoot, observing which, Victor was unprincipled enough to turn back and join the assailants. Thus the Shawanoe was forced to defend himself against three, every one of whom was a good thrower. Right bravely did the dusky youth do his work—never yielding an inch, but driving his missiles right and left, with the merciless accuracy and the power of an arrow from his b

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